thank goodness for the water

most who know me know that i've been having a hard time here in tampa. i really want to just pretend we're moving to germany this summer and start packing things up. but the reality is that we have no idea where steve will be stationed next and the kids and i very well could be here in tampa an extra year by ourselves, to get kiele through high school.  i'm hoping we will know something regarding steve's next assignment by december. with all of that said, one of the things that always makes my heart happy and keeps me sane while here, is shooting in the water. it feeds my soul more than i can even explain. i think about it constantly. i long for it. i ache for it.

here are some photos from an evening spent in the water, with the littles and my friend, jen, when she was visiting us a couple weeks ago from atlanta. i wanted to post these earlier, but ended up with a flu bug that kicked my butt -- and i'm still battling.  anyways...

i think it's fascinating to view our two sets of photos -- how very different the feel / mood is between our photos, yet shot together, many of the frames fired within minutes of each other...

and yes, i do think about the fact that there might not be water at steve's next assignment location, but i'll deal with that when the time comes and...probably be quickly planning my vacation trips back to tampa. lol.

i did edit some images in color. maybe i'll post those tomorrow.

at the lake

let yourself be open and life will be easier. a spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. a spoon of salt in a lake goes unnoticed. [buddha]

beyond grateful for my week in minnesota and all that it offered me...

questions & answers regarding my underwater shooting:

Q: what camera do you use? A: i shoot underwater with my D700 and 35mm f/1.8.

Q:  do you use a waterproof camera? A: i don't use a waterproof camera (refer to next Q & A).

Q:  what underwater housing do you use? A: i first purchased an equinox housing, but it was way too big and heavy, for the type of photography i was doing. i later purchased an SPL housing, which is what i am currently using.

Q: what are you able to adjust once your camera is in the housing? A: i'm able to adjust aperture and shutter speed, once my camera is in the housing.

Q: were you able to stand while shooting the lake photos? A: i was able to stand some of the time. other times i was doggy-paddling or floating in a tube (so not easy).

Q:  are you wearing any special gear or clothing during the shoot? A:  no special clothing; i wear a bikini and sometimes a rash guard. if i'm shooting in the pool and need to stay underwater, i sometimes wear a diver's weight belt (refer to next Q & A)

Q:  how do you stay down?  do you use weights in shallow water? A:  if i'm shooting underwater, in a pool, i sometimes use a diver's weight belt.  if i don't, i'm pretty quickly floating back to the surface.  when i'm shooting in the ocean or lake, no weights with me.

Q: do you use the lensbaby or filters on these shots? A: i cannot use any other camera or lens in my housing except D700 and 35mm. and no filters.

Q: how do you keep things so sharp? A: same principles apply as regular shooting (out of the water).

Q:  do you do much to your photographs post-shooting? A: no, i don't do much to my underwater photographs in post-shooting. basically just standard post-processing, similar to my regular (out-of-water) photographs. i never add any additional blur, textures, etc.

Q:  my questions are a little different as i'm interested in how you fell into this - if you are open to sharing the images that sparked the idea, any thoughts around the creative experience - roadblocks or challenges you found along the way and how you worked through those to these today.  A:  i'm not exactly sure what initially sparked my interest in underwater photography, but i do know that it wasn't images.  i think it really was just something i wanted to try. my first attempt with underwater photography took place about four years ago when i lived in san diego. i rented housing to do underwater maternity photos of a friend.  while it was definitely challenging, it was at that moment that i fell in love with underwater photography. even back then, i dreamt of shooting underwater in tampa.

it didn't take long for me to purchase underwater housing here in tampa, since we have a pool in our backyard, we're surrounded by water and it's hot as shit half of the year. and i quickly confirmed that underwater photography is not easy!! but i continued to experiment in the water -- shooting of my kids and friends in my backyard pool. recently, i moved into the ocean and then last week, i had the opportunity to shoot in a lake.  i've come to prefer the ocean and lake, to shooting within the constraints of a pool.

some of the challenges / roadblocks with underwater shooting -- it's a bit challenging to adjust settings and things on the camera are hard to see. a lot of patience is required.  i also have a problem with the 35mm lens i'm using, and when the problem occurs, i have to take apart my housing to reset the lens (very frustrating!).  the simple task of getting someone to the ocean or a lake, to shoot, is not exactly easy (i'm about 50 minutes from the ocean). and my dreads. :-) they take forever to dry, so getting them wet often can be a bit problematic.

regarding the creative experience -- for me, the creative process is the same; i shoot no differently in the water than i do out of the water (martha can attest to that, as she was with me the entire week, while at the lake in MN).  it's what's in me. it's how i shoot. it's what i see.'s difficult to explain.

if you look at my underwater work over the past year, it's definitely evolving and growing -- and i'm trusting. it will be interesting to see how things feel when i get back in the pool. it will be interesting to see how things continue to progress.  one thing i know is that i absolutely LOVE shooting in the water. i can't help but feel it's exactly where i'm meant to be!!

i'm not sure where the water will take me, but i'm sure enjoying the ride and oh-so-grateful!  you can see more of my recent water images HERE.

Q:  I would love to know if you are ever worried about water leaking in? A:  the first time i put my housing and camera in the water, i was a bit nervous, as i ever-so-slowly submerged it under water.  but now, i do a quick initial dunk, check if any water leaked in -- and start shooting.


if you're interested in purchasing underwater housing, i highly recommend renting one  before purchasing, as many are custom-made, not returnable and NOT cheap (around $2000).  or maybe even play with an underwater disposable camera, point & shoot or casing for your phone first.  for a very casual underwater shooter, i'm not sure expensive underwater housing is the answer.  just my honest two cents.

i'm not sure where the water will take me, but i'm sure having fun and enjoying the ride!  you can see more of my in-the-water photographs HERE.




Q: I am wondering what else you need besides the housing for the camera. Do you need specific rings? What if you want to use a different lens. Is it possible? Are you happy with your housing? Have you ever heard of Sea and Sea? I

i don't need anything else besides my housing. if i wanted to use a different lens, i would have to buy a different front piece for the housing, which would cost about $700. i cannot use a different camera, as my housing is designed to fit only the D700. yes, i'm happy with my housing. i have never heard of sea and sea.

what _____ looks like | month twelve

hard to believe i've been sharing these monthly posts for a full year now. although technically, this is really post eleven since i didn't share last month. BUT i think i had a pretty good excuse, being in tanzania and all -- and  i think i made up for it with my RIDETZ posts. :-) july was an exciting month for us, filled with lots of traveling: san diego, CA carson city, NV tahoe, NV san francisco, CA vegas, NV (an unplanned stay & ER visit) battle lake, MN.

we spent less than a week at home in july, which was perfectly fine by me.

what our july looked like begins at camp oma's in NEVADA...

with the cousins

my animal lover

izzy and her walking stick, on our hike

at the top

and back down again

the 1989 van

hands off

sky & great grandma mary

guitar practice


TAHOE lake stop

our hotel in SAN FRANCISCO

cool paintings that filled the walls of an entire alley way

overnight at alpana's

sick at the airport causing an unexpected two-day layover stay in vegas, NEVADA

back home in TAMPA & boating with our besties

a week family vacation in MINNESOTA with martha & her family. new friends...

sometimes, but not often, cheering up was necessary

with daddy

at our cabin, which we didn't spend much time at all (thanks to martha & her fabulous family :-) )

photo shoot of ellie & sky (shooting with and styled by martha)

cabin break

paint by number

soul sisters

lots of swimming in the lake and some super fun time shooting in the water.  a separate post on that coming soon.

there’s a small circle of photographers participating in this what ____ looks like monthly project.  i hope you’ll check them all out [clicking link to link] — starting with stephanie moore | tucson family photographer.

and with that, i say good day and...

an evening in the water

last weekend, our dear friends asked us if we'd like to go out on their boat with them.  we absolutely love spending time with the skubins, so of course, our answer was an overwhelming yes, yes, YES!!  having not shot underwater for quite a while, i decided to bring my D700 and underwater housing with me.  it was different than what i'm used to (shooting in my pool) but i loved it just as much.  there's something about shooting in the water that so resonates with and speaks to me.  i don't think i could ever get enough of it (except for dealing with my wet dreads).  lucky for me, we're headed to MN for a week -- to a cabin on a lake, where i'm connecting with the amazing  martha (of i see the moon photography). martha and i dream and talk about lots of shooting together, including underwater.  :-) and i so cannot wait!!! here's a few of my favorites from our amazing evening together just off of our (almost) private island...

ETA:  nothing like just finding out that tropical storm debby is continuing to leave her mark in the pinellas county waters.  the pinellas health department just issued a health advisory declaring that the waters at five popular beaches are a potential health risk because of high bacteria counts.  why? because of...

FECAL MATTER that was washed from the land into the gulf.

OMG, how gross!  of course, the waters we were in is one of the affected areas.  yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!


wild & free

if one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams,and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. [henry david thoreau] a new favorite photo. :-)

i hope i never forget to live deliberately -- wild and free...

and i couldn't help but fall in love with these words of henry david thoreau... yourself -- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.

i went to the woods because i wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if i could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when i came to die, discover that i had not lived. i did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did i wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. i wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.

tanzania, here i come

yep, i'm off.  today is the day.  OMG, I REALLY AM HEADED TO TANZANIA!!

here's a little timeline of where i'll be visiting and photographing, while i'm there:

June 5th - arrive in the evening June 6th - settle in June 7th - usa river academy June 8th - matonyok and kkoaranga (two partner orphanages) June 9th - 19th - RIDETZ June 18th - end-of-ride celebration at pangani June 19th - return to arusha June 20th - office, catch-up, rest, tour arusha, etc. June 21st - back to matonyok (orphanage) June 22nd - star high (secondary school scholarship students) June 23rd - usa river academy June 24th - good hope and special needs school June 25th - nkoaranga and seeway (orphanages) June 26th - depart

to be completely honest, this is still all so surreal.  i'm not sure it's going to completely hit me until i step off the plane in tanzania.  but one thing is for sure -- this is an absolute dream-come-true and i am beyond grateful for this opportunity.

while in africa, i will have very, very little internet access; however, i have an inspirational photographer series scheduled to launch, while i'm away -- i hope you'll enjoy!

also, 'the foundation for tomorrow' will be sharing some of my tanzania photographs throughout the month, so please keep an eye on their blog. and of course, i have no doubt that i'll have so much to share once i'm back home. :-)

and a quick fundraising update:  i'm beyond thrilled to share that so far, i've raised almost $4000 for 'the foundation for tomorrow', although i'm still hoping and believing that i will reach my $5000 goal for them.  if interested, you can still donate here.  also, i will be bringing over 100 pounds of donated items to the children of tanzania -- items that were donated by people from all across the country.  truly amazing!

thank you for all your support and encouragement. i feel so incredibly blessed and grateful. thank you!  thank you!

and a special thank you to my husband, for his never-ending love, support and encouragement.  and to my mother-in-law, kate...this trip wouldn't have been possible without her kindness and support.

ETA:  i'm still a bit of an emotional mess.  wondering if i've done everything.  packed everything.  remembered everything. not only for myself, but also for my kids (the littles will be spending a month in NV and kiele will be spending two months in CA).  i try to keep reminding myself that i've done the best that i could and... everything WILL be okay!!

what _____ looks like | month ten

wow! hard to believe that it's been 10 months that i've been working on this monthly project.  beyond grateful to those who invited me to participate. without further ado, THIS is a bit of what our may looked like...

a san diego business trip, shooting portrait clients and an editorial

two of my most favorite people in the world

joey's last photo :-(

me...right before dropping my camera and smashing this lens

a gymnastics meet

hearing for the FIRST TIME, while in the water

lots of swimming

a star student

favorite color: green favorite book: hop on pop favorite movie: avengers favorite sport: soccer when i grow up, i want to be: a zoo keeper i'm special because: i am nice favorite food: popcorn i have a pet: 2 pets -- a fish and a dog the person i most admire is: my mom and dad my favorite school subject: math

a brave little girl, who got seven shots, 6 scrapings and a mole biopsy

and a bunch of everyday life, which so often revolves around our living room.

there’s a small circle of photographers participating in this what ____ looks like monthly project.  i hope you’ll check them all out [clicking link to link] -- starting with stephanie moore | tucson family photographer.


ten days

yes, ten days until i depart for africa.  and most days lately, i seem to be a bundle of emotional mess -- excited, nervous, curious, anxious, thrilled. and then sometimes my head REALLY messes with me and worry overwhelms me. i begin to question... will i be able to accurately capture the awesomeness that i am about to view? will i capture all that these people deserve to be shared? am i going to forget something important? will my equipment be okay?

yes, i seem to play the best head games with myself. and i know this worry is just not healthy. i know some might think it's downright silly. i know some might want to shake me. i know that worrying does nothing for no one. i know that my energy and thoughts need to be redirected in a positive direction. I KNOW!

when these thoughts seem to be getting the best of me, i remind myself that i have been blessed with this gift and all i have to do is use it -- use it the way i do each and every day here at home. i remind myself that i'm about to embark on the most awesome, incredible, magical journey of a lifetime -- a dream come true.  i remind myself how very blessed i am. i remind myself that i can absolutely do this!  i remind myself that right now, i simply need to breathe, trust,  believe and enjoy my family.

they have entrusted me. i need to trust myself... trust the path. trust the process. and stop worrying.

i am beyond grateful for this opportunity. many days, i still can't believe it. i'm not sure i could ever fully express the amount of gratitude that i hold in my heart.

lastly, to all those who have donated, either monetarily here or items, for me to hand-deliver to the tanzanian children -- i cannot thank you enough. your kindness and generosity overwhelms me. deeply and truly, I THANK YOU!

p.s. thank you for reading...and understanding.

let your dreams fly free

most people never run far enough on their first wind,to find out if they've got a second. give your dreams all you've got, and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you. [william james]

this is what i came home to yesterday...

KIELE:  mom, can i show you something? ME:  sure, what? KIELE:  you have to come in my room. ME: okay, what?

and she brought me into her room to see what she had drawn, cut and taped up on her wall...

sigh -- i love this child and the magical soul that she is.  she's taught me a lot over the years, that's for sure.

ETA: she told me today what she wants for her birthday (may 3rd) -- a vintage bird cage from the store down the street so that she can put it on top of her art cabinet (underneath her LET YOUR DREAMS FLY FREE).

has it really been that long?

hard to believe, but it's true -- i've now had my dreads for almost 2-1/2 years now. this was me the day before dreads and a few days after having them done, in portland.  more photos from over the years can be seen here and here and  here.

and these are my dreads now (all very recent photographs courtesy of jen and alpana)...

my hair pre-dreads was super high maintenance and i always struggled with it. i'm super lazy about my dreads and do absolutely nothing most of the time. ninety percent of the time, my dreads are pulled back in a ponytail. i don't dread the roots; they dread on their own, as they will. i wash the front part (the non-dreaded hair) every time i shower. i wash my dreads about every 4-6 weeks or so (either with apple cider vinegar & baking soda or with castile soap). i do have to keep them from mingling.  they would grow together if i let them and so i have to rip them apart every couple days. sometimes if they've mingled too much, i can't rip them so i have to cut them apart. i have my roots colored about every 3-4 months. they're still itchy on my neck, but less itchy, now that they're a bit longer. i dream of the day my dreads are really long and i can wear them in a variety of style. i absolutely love my dreads and have never been happier with my hair(style). i don't regret getting dreads for a single second.

how long will i have dreads?  five, 10, 20 years? who knows. only time will tell.

have a question about dreads?  please ask.  i'm more than happy to answer.

live the life that only you allow

kiele had an assignment in her creative writing class, where she had to write a poem about bullying.  this is what she wrote... I don’t know how I can keep living on Every time I wake up the pain resumes Hurtful words in my head from night to dawn My hope keeps dying like the waning moon

Can I wonder why you cause me this pain Am I allowed to think or has that gone Along with my mind that had kept me sane Should I just give up for what I’ve done wrong

Death beckons me with it’s shadowy gaze I want to follow to escape your grasp You’ve seen my beauty only through a haze And I want to leave your bullying clasp

I want to live free of all your torments Can’t keep pretending that things are okay Instead of going down a dark descent Instead of breaking and being your prey

I will stand up for myself and fight now And live the life that only I allow.

gratefully, kiele has not been bullied.  i can't imagine what these children, who are bullied, go through. but my hope is that each and every one of them finds a way to stand up for themselves, fight back and live the lives that only they allow.

what ____ looks like | month eight

march madness.  another month that has come and gone in a blur.  a month that involved... location scouting after gymnastics


chillin' out after school


building lincoln logs

building forts

spring break and...

lots of beach time with friends

the beginning of swimming in our pool

riding with turkeys

st patrick's day pranks

saving a catepillar

some serious glimpses of my baby growing up

lots of laughter

and you can see more of our days here.

there’s a circle of 12 photographers participating in this what ____ looks like monthly project.  i hope you’ll check them all out [clicking link to link]. next up… chubby cheek photography | child and family photographer.

ETA:  we've decided to extend the wallflower friends retreat raffle for another couple days.  winner will be announced this wednesday!!

what ____ looks like | month seven

where has february gone?  it seems to have just flown by.  but i guess, really, every month seems to feel that way.  here's a bit of what our everyday-kind-of-days in february looks looked like... as with every month, four trips to the horse farm / petting zoo.  always a new friend or two. and many old friends.

the new barn kitten had an eye infection, but my kids loved all over him anyways. and a rat got loose but didn't go far from his hairless friend.

fighting for attention.

falling off the new horse.

and bravely getting right back on.

barn windows.

the reptile room -- one of his favorites.

tire swing at the farm.

his new walking path.



the aviary.

my boy.

dirty feet -- more often than not.

boat ride with friends.

seeing dolphin along the way.

our almost-private island.

heading home.

hands off!

a visit with jen.

and shooting with jen.

one minute up | the next minute upside-down.

sky and ryder with my camera.


few quick photos during our shoot.

balancing act.

trip to the state fair.

building the snail a home of shells.

which ended with the boy yelling in the girl's ear and the girl giving a throat punch.

after gymnastics.

portraits with my new lens.

chicken, for the school 'moosical'.

his first speaking line -- "but others are boiled and made into chicken soup...buccbuuuuuuk."

the gift she made her best friend, using the separation of cool and warm colors.


there’s a circle of 12 photographers participating in this what ____ looks like monthly project.  i hope you’ll check them all out [clicking link to link]. next up… chubby cheek photography | child photographer.

the gift she left us

i think i've re-written this post 10 times now.  i'm not sure i could ever express my complete gratitude to jen, for capturing my own family's photos.  these are a few of my absolute favorites. i hope that one day my children will look back on these and see our family's absolute love and joy for one another.  we are so very blessed!! \

you can see more of our photos here.  thank you jen.  deeply and truly, i thank you!!  i hope that one day i can return this most amazing gift you have given my family.




a weekend of inspiration

to say that this past weekend was incredible and inspiring would be an understatement -- i had the awesome opportunity to spend the weekend with jock sturges in palm neach, where he was there teaching at FOTOfusion. we arrived saturday afternoon.  my kids were modeling for his ‘the meaningful portrait’ demonstration shoot. it was wonderful to hear his thoughts on shooting people and so great to see him in action. one thing that i really grasped onto is jock’s deep respect for the people he shoots.  he also stressed the importance of getting to know your subjects – something that i’ve always believed as an essential part of making a great photograph.

my kids and i also had the opportunity to visit the ‘full of grace’ exhibit at the palm beach photographic center, with jock.  the exhibition was so well put together and it was incredible to hear jock’s knowledge and thoughts on much of the displayed photographs.  he also took the time to teach and inspire my kids, who are now asking to visit museums here in tampa. if you happen to live in florida and can make the trip to palm beach, i so highly recommend the ‘full of grace’ exhibition.  i guarantee you will not be disappointed.

on sunday, jock and i spent hours talking about painters and their influences, not only on one another, but also on various photographers.  we began with cave paintings and journeyed through time – discussing artists such as sandro botitcelli, hieronymus bosch, jan vermeer, eugene delacroix, van gogh, picasso, piet mondrian and mark rothko. it was fascinating and something i plan to engross myself in, in the coming months.

we [my kids and i] then watched a slideshow of jock’s work, from the time he was a child through last summer’s work, sharing his thoughts and stories along the way.  it was impressive that jock knew every person’s name and many of them, he’s photographed for generations.

throughout the weekend, we laughed and shared.  he took the time to teach my kids – not only about photography and art, but also a few magic tricks, which of course, they thought was the best thing ever.  we left palm beach sunday evening and the first thing my kids said was, we really like him; when are we going to see him again.

jock sturges is one of the most kind, caring, giving people i have ever met.  he selflessly shared so much time, knowledge and information, asking for absolutely nothing in return. to think he’s a master photographer pretty much blows my mind.  he inspired me and encouraged me.  i'm not sure how i got so lucky, but i am beyond grateful.  he shared with me that he sees something special in my work and well, i’m not taking that lightly.  he had some recommendations for me, which i am going to see through.  one thing for sure, i’m going to make his time and energy spent worth it – i will not disappoint!

jock -- i can’t thank you enough for your friendship and the gift you have given me.  i feel more than blessed and i will make you proud.  my children and i thank you for a most-magical weekend -- a weekend we will never forget.

and a few photos from the weekend...

a dreaded thought

yesterday evening, while driving home from gymnastics... SKY: mom, there's something in your hair. I'M NOT KIDDING, there's REALLY something in your hair. ME: where, sky? what is it? SKY: it's brown and has eight legs. ME: [now frantically banging on my dreads] sky, where? get it? SKY: i don't know. i think it's crawling.

so i pulled over on the side of the highway. shook my hair all over the place and rubbed my dreads as much as possible.  i can only imagine how things looked to those driving by.

back in the car...

ME: sky, is it gone? do you see it? SKY: you know, there's lots of poisonous brown spiders. like brown recluses. ME: sky, do you see it? SKY: no, maybe it crawled in deeper. ME: that's so not funny.

true story.

i HATE bugs. and the thought of some bug deciding to make it's home in my dreads is one of the worst things i could possibly dream up. i basically messed with my dreads the entire way home. yuck, yuck, yuck!!  once home, i asked kiele to look for a bug in my dreads and she just laughed.  the thought still makes my heart race.

it's been two years, two months that i've had my dreads. i love them more and more as time goes on. can't imagine not having dreads.  i'm pretty lazy about doing anything to them. i don't do any maintenance, except occasionally ripping them apart, when they begin mingling with one another. and i wash them about every 4-6 weeks. the span between washings seems to keep lengthening.

they've come a long way since HERE!

p.s. i just really dislike self portraits. makes me cringe. i'll try and get some better shots of my dreads to share, when my friend, jen, gets here next week.

cleanse | days 19-21

DAY 19 --breakfast: smoothie [protein, bee pollen, coconut water, mixed berries, peaches, mango, spinach] snack: none lunch: [applegate] chicken sausage, avocado, herb lettuce, wrapped in a brown rice tortilla snack: 1/2 larabar dinner: juice [2 large kale leaves, 3 carrots, 1 beet, 1 lemon, 1 pear, piece of ginger]

the thoughts of cheating keep getting stronger and stronger. everything i look at that i am not allowed to eat right now, i think about taking a bite.

just one bite. no, don't! you're so close. but no one would know. just a tiny nibble. no way!

my mind goes back and forth. back and forth. thankfully, the side that really wants to see this through prevails every time.

DAY 20 -- breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, water, mixed berries, peaches, spinach] snack: carrots with hummus lunch: turkey lunchmeat, guacamole, lettuce, onion wrapped in brown rice tortilla snack: none dinner: smoothie [protein, flax meal, almond milk, mixed berries, mango, kale]

i confess. day 20 and i cheated.  i had carrots at 11 PM. the closer i get to the end, the stronger the urges to cheat.  all in all, a great day though.

DAY 21 -- breakfast: none snack: none lunch: smoothie [protein, flax meal, bee pollen, fiber, coconut water, raspberries, mango, kale, spinach] snack: piece of [applegate] turkey lunch meat dinner: smoothie [protein, flax meal, coconut water, raspberries, mango, kale]

i rushed around early morning and then headed to apple store at 9:30 AM, to get my computer fixed.  i was there two hours, hence my not eating breakfast or a snack. needless to say, i was starving by the time i got back home at 12:30 PM and rushed to make a quick smoothie. so here i am now, just a few hours from being done with my 21-day clean program cleanse.  can't believe i made it. proud that i made it. feeling great.

so what's my first day post-cleanse going to be like? coffee smoothie for breakfast [water, ice, 1/2 banana, peanut butter, protein, fiber, kale] i might try a gluten free cookie, that i've been eyeing at the health food store [hope it's yummy as i've been fantasizing it is, but probably not] something super clean for lunch dinner out with a friend, which will include a beer

i'll be sharing my cleanse conclusion in a few days. i figured i'd get a couple regular days under my belt before sharing all my post-cleanse thoughts.

so happy i'm done!!!

how we roll

this is how we roll in this family...

have been wanting to try an animated image for quite some time now. and just happened to take these of skyler, at my in-laws house over the holidays. we seem to find her rolling, swinging, flipping much of every day.

hope you're having a great weekend!

cleanse | days 13-15

DAY 13 --breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, coconut oil, water, mixed berries, mango, carrots, spinach] snack: carrots with hummus lunch: lettuce, spinach, chicken, avocado, mustard wrapped in brown rice tortilla snack: larabar dinner: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, almond milk, water, raspberries, mango, kale]

pretty much blah day because of the day before. was tired the entire day. feeling so ready to be done.

DAY 14 -- breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, coconut oil, water, mixed berries, mango, carrots, spinach] snack: none lunch: [applegate] chicken breast lunchmeat, herb lettuce, hummus, mustard wrapped in brown rice tortilla snack: half a larabar dinner: smoothie [protein, fiber, coconut oil, coconut water, peaches, raspberries, carrots, kale]

felt back to normal on day 14, but was really hungry by late evening [probably should have been in bed].  i think about quitting multiple times every day, this day included. just really ready to be done, but then also i've come this far and so why quit now. but yes, i'm so darn excited about day 21 being only a week away. wondering how i should celebrate the big day?

DAY 15 -- breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, coconut water, raspberries, mango, carrots, spinach] snack:  apple with almond butter lunch:  [applegate] chicken breast lunchmeat, herb lettuce, hummus wrapped in brown rice tortilla and 1/2 larabar snack: 1/2 larabar dinner: you guessed it. a smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, coconut water, mixed berries, mango, kale]

man i woke up hungry on day 15 and stayed hungry most of the day. late night, i was so hungry that i couldn't think straight. it's funny how the days vary so much [not in my eating, but in my level of hunger]. besides being hungry, i felt great.

i know my lunches are boring and repetitive but i have no desire to really cook anything different or special. and i'm really not a very big vegetable eater ever. i tell myself every day that i'm going to make a juice, but that seems to never happen. maybe tomorrow. i have beets, carrots, apples and ginger waiting for me. i really need to juice more.

six more days and i'm DONE! cannot wait, cannot wait, cannot wait. kiele asked me today what my first meal was going to be post-cleanse...a donut?, not a donut. but what IS my first meal going to be? it's kind of exciting to think about.

you can find my original post regarding this clean program cleanse here.